Harker Heights vs Belton Basketball

Belton’s Aubrianna Garcia, left, and Harker Heights’ JaQuan Jackson battle for the ball in the teams’ District 8-5A opener Tuesday in Harker Heights. The Lady Knights defeated Belton 52-39.

Aubrianna Garcia was not overly excited about her performance.

Belton’s starting guard led her team to a silver-bracket championship at Lampasas’ Lady Badger Holiday Tournament, averaging 11.5 points per game, including a game-high 13 points during an upset of Class 3A No. 11 Lorena. But she expected more of herself.

“I felt like I played good,” the junior said. “I could have went harder, I could have done better, but I played good coming off a week without practice.”

Others believe she is greatly underselling her showing.

In addition to helping the Lady Tigers double their win total during the two-day tournament, improving to 6-11 overall after losing 10 of their first 12 games, Garcia’s performance earned her KDHpressbox.com Player of the Week honors.

Garcia garnered 49 percent of the total vote, receiving 467 of the 956 votes cast.

“Honestly, I didn’t think there would be that many votes,” she said. “Reading the comments from the parents really made me feel good to know they appreciate watching me, they voted for me, and they took the time out of their day to do that.”

Garcia, however, was satisfied simply being considered for the honor.

“It is pretty amazing to be nominated,” she said. “To win it, obviously, makes me feel good. … Even if I was to have lost, I still would have felt pretty good just to have been nominated.”

After Garcia scored 14 points in a blowout victory against Early last Friday, the Lady Tigers suffered a second-half scoring slump against Corsicana despite Garcia finishing with 11 points, dropping them into the silver bracket. On Saturday, Belton (6-11, 1-3 District 8-5A) swept its bracket, shocking the Lady Leopards before concluding tournament play with a 40-24 victory against Fredericksburg behind Garcia’s eight-point performance.

With Garcia leading the way, the Lady Tigers have won four of their last five games, dating back to before Christmas, when Belton beat Copperas Cove on the road.

“Looking back, we know that we could beat the teams we lost to,” Garcia said. “Knowing that, it gives us a determination to win because we know we have the potential to do it.”

Salado post Jaylee Sebek and Copperas Cove point guard Mikayla Blount finished second and third, respectively, in the voting.

Sebek received 29 percent of the vote after averaging 13 points per game while guiding the Lady Eagles to three wins at the Thorndale Shootout. The senior was also named to the all-tournament team.

Blount produced an impressive double-double as she helped the Lady Bulldawgs defeat district rival Harker Heights to finish third at the McDonald’s All-Star Invitational. Against the Lady Knights, the junior scored 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds.

Now, with the added momentum of winning games and awards, Garcia believes Belton is prepared to make a strong run at returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

“We went in, we worked as a team, and our effort was good,” she said. “We went there to get prepared for district.”

Contact Clay Whittington at clayw@kdhnews.com

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